Poster Presentation FCIC Survivorship Conference 2013

Engaging with Survivors – A Regional Participation Strategy (#57)

Michelle McKimmie 1 , Louise Christofaro 1 , Kylie Halsall 1
  1. Gippsland Regional Integrated Cancer Services, Traralgon, Vic, Australia


To develop and implement a consumer engagement strategy that supports and enables those affected by cancer to partner with GRICS to influence service delivery change.


Cancer care professionals believe they know and understand the service access issues confronting the cancer patient. However it is the cancer patient who, having navigated the complexities of their own cancer path, has the knowledge and experience to raise awareness and inform cancer service improvement priorities. Recognising this, GRICS developed a comprehensive consumer engagement strategy to facilitate robust, sustainable survivor participation.


To achieve our aim GRICS developed;
• A Participation Plan that articulated the role of the consumer within the GRICS Governance structure and the strategies that would facilitate participation regardless of the health needs, lifestyle priorities or geographic location of members
• Recruitment material
• A Consumer Participation Kit
• A consumer education framework
• Key performance indicators, review and evaluation methodology.


1. A comprehensive consumer engagement strategy that could inform other regional and metropolitan service providers.
2. A robust Consumer Reference Group that;
• Meets monthly and is progressing into a third year
• Has a diverse membership from across Gippsland
• Had an 81% attendance rate in 2012
• Combines videoconferencing and venue rotation to facilitate participation
• Offered education at 100% of meetings
• Produced the Handy Essential for Local Patients (HELP) Kit for Gippsland cancer patients
3. Linkages with 16 regional cancer support groups
4. Hosting regionally based, consumer centred, health forums
5. Productive partnerships with cancer information and support providers e.g. Breacan, Cancer Council.

Future Directions

In 2013 GRICS will work towards;
• Expanding the capabilities of members to sit on the GRICS Governance Group
• Investigating collaboration opportunities with health service Community Advisory Committees
• Independently peer reviewing our consumer engagement performance against current national and Victorian standards, best practice and benchmarks in health services.